MISA Malawi statement on arrest of journalist Archibald Kasakura
The Malawi Chapter of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) is shocked and deeply saddened with the detention of journalist Archibald Kasakura, who was arrested by Limbe Police in Blantyre, southern Malawi, for allegedly ‘obstructing a police officer on duty’.
Efforts to speak to the Police proved futile as MISA Mawli were continually referred from one officer to another, but Kasakura confirmed the incident, saying the police beat him up and jailed him for some time for taking pictures of an altercation involving Blantyre City Assembly officials and vendors.
“I was in Limbe in the morning and suddenly there was a commotion because Blantyre City Assembly official were chasing vendors from the streets. Some City Assembly officials started beating up a woman and I started taking pictures … the police were just watching the officials beating the woman,” Kasakura said.
“One of the officials from the Assembly saw me and informed the police who immediately pounced on me. They beat me up and took everything that was in my pockets. I introduced myself as journalist and showed them my identity card but they said they don’t care.
“At the moment am coming from Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital. My right eye is blood shot and my handkerchief is full of bloodstains.”
MISA is deeply shocked and saddened that the in a democratic nation like Malawi the Police continue to sink so low and beat up a journalist on duty.
MISA condemns such brutality and would like to call upon the police to change and start treating journalists with the respect that they deserve.
Beating up reporters and treating them as criminals is barbaric, retrogressive and defeats the spirit of a reformed police. We would like to remind the police that mutual respect and a spirit of partnership between the police and the media is the only way that Malawi can develop and promote peace and security. The media is not an enemy of the State or the police but a partner in development.
We would like to appeal to the police to behave in a mature and professional manner and to avoid beating and jailing reporters for merely doing their job.
MISA MALAWI CHAIRPERSON
21 October 2014
The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) was founded in 1996. Its work focuses on promoting, and advocating for, the unhindered enjoyment of freedom of expression, access to information and a free, independent, diverse and pluralistic media.